Thursday, March 22, 2007

Upromise - Not Saving Much For Our Daughter

Upromise sounds like a great idea. Buy the products one normally buys and get automatic rebates for certain brands to put towards a child's college education. I signed up in February, 2006. After one year, our account has accumulated $0.07. It seems a low number is not uncommon, as shown by a post at Money Matter and More Musings, whose Upromise account had a total of $0.35, even though he had accumulated about 60,000 points on his credit cards. However, a post at The Sun's Financial Diary shows he has accumulated about $400 in his Upromise account since 2004.

While I have not been actively trying to maximize our Upromise returns, here are some reasons that I think our account credits are low.

Credit cards not registered. Call me over cautious. I don't like the idea of anybody having my credit card numbers who doesn't have "valid" reason for getting them. Accepting payment is an valid reason for me. Tracking my spending for points is not. As a result, I do not get credit for some of my purchases.

Only grocery cards are registered. So we are limited to credit for items purchased at grocery stores. Based on products that qualified, 90% of them seem available at our grocery store. However, we do lose out on points for purchases on non-grocery items, such as gasoline and electronics.

We do not actively manage the purchase decisions. While I have an idea of which products qualify for Upromise, I have never made a purchase decisions based on whether a product offers Upromise credits or not.

For now, I won't be doing anything different, since I don't believe I can significantly increase our return. As this rate, our Upromise account will have about $1.12 credited when our daughter attends college:-)

For more on Crossing Generations , check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Anonymous said...

Super Saver: Thanks for linking to the article. I have to say that most of the $400 I accumulated in Upromise was from the Citi Upromise credit card. I used to charge everything on it before I got the Fidelity 529 rewards card which gives me 2% back. The amount from shopping either online through their website or at local grocery store isn't really much. Of course, it's never a good idea to make purchasing decision solely based on the potential cashbacks :))

Anonymous said...

lol. 7 cents. It's better than nothing I guess.

I've accumulated around 90 bucks in 2 1/2 years. Most of it came from linking our AT&T phone bill to Upromise. It's a gold mine.

Also, I would comment more, but just hate the comment template. Just thought you should know.

Super Saver said...


Thanks for your comment and coaching tip on getting the big cashbacks.


Thanks for your comment and additional insight on how to get bigger cashbacks. I wish I had learned about AT&T sooner since AT&T used to be our long distance carrier.

Thanks also for letting me know you read My Wealth Builder. No problem on not leaving comments.

Dorky Dad said...

Are you at least racking up cash back from Ebates and/or FatWal!et?

Dimes said...

I'm not a big fan of these programs either. I think I'd alternatively save the cashback rewards on a credit card I regularly use instead of Upromise (which can also be used to pay off your already incurred student loans as well).

Super Saver said...

Dorky Dad,

No, I haven't signed up for Ebates or FatWallet, yet. Currently, I am reluctant to sign up for more programs that I have to "manage." :-)


I agree. If credit cards are the main way to get Upromise credits, I would rather just get cash back and have more options with the money.

Anonymous said...

This way of saving may suit some. Although it'll take much time :(
For a long perspective it can bear fruit.